All those animals on the ark? I don’t think so

February 5, 2014

No, I didn’t watch Bill Nye dissect Ken Ham in the science vs. creationism debate.  I share with many other science-loving people a conviction that “debating” creationists is wholly irrelevant, and tends only to build the glory of the creationists who cannot manage to set up a single scientific observation or experiment to provide evidence for creationism, but can stand on a stage and crack bad jokes and lie, against a mumbling scientist.

But I have looked at some of the commentary, and some of Nye’s remarks and rebuttals.  Nye did very well.

Nye tended to develop clear, non-scientific explanations for the issues.  Ham and creationists aren’t ready for that.

In that vein, J. Rehling tweeted this astonishingly clear explanation for why it’s just impossible to “believe” that the fabled ark of Noah could carry even most of the species alive, in one boat (and, mind you, the San Diego Zoo is neither the world’s largest collection of species on display in a zoo, nor displaying a significant percentage of all species):

Two pictures that tell the story.

How big was Noah’s Ark? Not big enough, especially compared to the San Diego Zoo and the USS Nimitz.

San Diego Zoo and USS Nimitz, the largest ship in the U.S. Navy; clearly, no ark built by Noah could have been big enough to carry all land animals.  Image mashup by JRehling

San Diego Zoo and USS Nimitz, the largest ship in the U.S. Navy; clearly, no ark built by Noah could have been big enough to carry all land animals. Image mashup by JRehling


Ken Ham and Atlantis

May 16, 2010

Uh-oh.  Did P. Z. Myers see the name of the commanding officer of the space shuttle Atlantis on the current flight, STS-132?

Short press release from NASA:

Sun, 16 May 2010 06:48:08 -0500

Commander Ken Ham [emphasis added] and the crew of Atlantis performed the Terminal Initiation burn at 7:40 a.m. EDT, firing the left Orbital Maneuvering System engine for nine seconds to place the shuttle on the final path for its 10:27 a.m. docking to the International Space Station. When Atlantis is about 600 feet from the station, Ham will maneuver Atlantis through a backflip rotation to expose the heat shield to station crew members who will use digital cameras to photograph Atlantis’ upper and lower surfaces through windows of the Zvezda Service Module. Oleg Kotov will use a 400mm lens, and T.J. Creamer, Soichi Noguchi and Tracy Caldwell Dyson all will use 800mm lenses. The photos will be transmitted to Mission Control for evaluation by imagery experts and mission managers to determine whether the heat shield sustained any damaged during launch.

Not only is it not the same Ken Ham, I’ll wager they are completely unrelated, and that they’ve never met.  I wonder how the astronaut lives with people confusing him with the Ken Ham of the creationism cult.  Perhaps creationists stray into the real process of space exploration so rarely that no one has made the connection yet.

Ken Ham, creationist

. . . this Ken Ham, who doesn't "believe" in much of the science that gets the other Ken Ham into orbit.

Ken Ham, commander of Space Shuttle Atlantis, on STS-132 - NASA photo

This Ken Ham, the astronaut (NASA photo), is not to be confused with . . .


A Texas riddle indeed: Why is McLeroy hanging with creationists?

August 21, 2008

Here’s the post from über creationist Ken Ham’s site, in its entirety:

A Texas Riddle

Last week, AiG speaker Mike Riddle did a series of talks in Brenham, Texas. On the first day, Mike did four different sessions for 1st–6th graders. He usually speaks to young people on topics like “The Riddle of the Dinosaurs,” AiG’s well-known “7C’s of History,” and fossils.

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On the next day, Mike did four special sessions for teachers. Each presentation was geared to help instructors be better prepared to teach origins in the public schools. In addition to speaking on what creationists believe, he spoke on understanding presuppositions and assumptions in the origins debate–and using critical thinking skills. Mike also had the opportunity to meet with the Chairman of the Texas State School Board, Don McLeroy (a biblical creationist), and gave presentations to an open audience at the Brenham High School auditorium.

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Mike and Don McLeroy (Chairman, Texas State School Board)

“Special sessions for teachers?” Oy vey.

1. I’ll wager, if those were real, public school teachers, they were given continuing education credits for attending. That would be illegal, especially if Riddle did not preface his presentations with a legal disclaimer that what he urges is contrary to Texas science standards and contrary to the Constitution. Want to wager whether he did?

2. What’s McLeroy doing there? Doesn’t he know he’s supposed to maintain antiseptic separation from such controversial stuff? They fire people from the TEA for attending sessions that are legal and support the Texas standards. What sort of Quisling action is this on McLeroy’s part?

3. Is Rick Perry watching? The state’s legal fees will rise dramatically as a result of this kind of bad judgment at the SBOE. Can Texas taxpayers afford this?

4. Why does Don McLeroy hate Texas’s smarter, college-bound children so?

It takes a particular form of chutzpah to stand idly by while qualified science teachers are fired from the state’s education agency for promoting science, and then go cavort with creationists. It may not be cowardice exactly, but courage is its antonym.


Is Ken Ham a Wackaloon?

June 21, 2008

Ken Ham appears to be unhappy that P. Z. Myers called him a wackaloon, but clueless as to why.

Ken, partly it’s because you don’t allow comments at your blog. Open your blog up for discussion, you might learn something.

It ain’t that the majority is silent, it’s that the wackaloons are deaf. Ham seems confused. He thinks Myers is worried that God exists. Myers is worried that Ham is a wackaloon. Those two statements are quite different, and mutually exclusive independent. God’s existence doesn’t change the fact that Ham is a wackaloon, and God’s existence is not conditional on Ham’s being a wackaloon.

Ham is a creationist who spends millions of dollars annually lying to children. Ham, it would appear to a rational person, does not believe God exists, and so thinks there is no penalty to be paid for doing this. “Wackaloon” might be a gentle term.

But, should creationists be allowed into the Pentagon without a full body search? People who don’t think radiation works in predictable ways should be kept far, far away from nuclear weapons and those who play a role in triggering them, I think. What if they required a sanity test before allowing people into the Pentagon?


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